CCC Woolston Village Sub
Opens 5.6.18 closes 3.7.18
Spokes sub made 2.7.18
With cycle lanes of 1.6 to 1.8m width with no buffer zone hard up against on street parking this project is unsafe and fails to apply Council’s own Cycle Design Guidelines while undermining Council’s stated intent to encourage the ‘interested but concerned’ cyclist. Big gains in both reducing congestion and personal health come from people choosing to use bikes for their short local trips. These gains are not supported by this project.
That the narrow width is to accommodate landscaping and street furniture both of which are dispensed with where on street parking is prioritized makes clear that catering to cars is the priority.
The central median of up to 1.8m along with cycle lanes will encourage cars to use the cycle lanes to pass turning cars and squeeze past cars using on street parks. Along with the bus stops which block cycle lanes people on bicycles will be forced to use the carriageway with cars for safety. We can all hear the impatient tooting of horns as drivers insist on having their space free of people on bicycles. This will discourage the interested but concerned cyclists.
This project does not support real mode choice or a transition to more sustainable transport choices. It has compromised safety and amenity in the face of business as usual Nimbyism. A neighbourhood shared space may well be a better option. The proposed 30 km/h speed limit supports this.
People who ride bicycles need to travel to the same places as cars. They wish to do so efficiently. Routes which offer more pleasant and safer cycling are great, but do not apply to areas they do not serve or when too far from desire lines. Major Cycle Routes work when Local Cycle Networks provides safe passage for complete journeys. For mode choice to be supported roads need to offer safe cycling.
Existing & Proposed Hazards
- Poor visibility to the west at New World car park driveway
- Side roads and driveways with no give way markings where cars currently protrude into the cycle lane to gain visibility and endanger people on bicycles
- Frequent pedestrian crossings with on street parking blocking visibility for both road users and pedestrians
- Narrow cycle lanes without door buffer zones hard up against on street parking
- Tree plantings by the Day and Night car park driveway which will block visibility
- Parking lot on north side near Portman has trees by driveway to block vision of both cars leaving and cycles seeing. How will driveways be prevented from blocking footpath and cycle lane?
Council staff has advised that NZTA cycle guidelines have been applied. They are inapplicable. Quoting from those guidelines “Cycle lanes are painted lanes within the carriageway that are suitable for enthused and confident cyclists but, apart from low volume streets, do not offer sufficient protection for the majority of interested but concerned cyclists.” https://www.nzta.govt.nz/walking-cycling-and-public-transport/cycling/cycling-network-guidance/designing-a-cycle-facility/between-intersections/cycle-lanes/#cycle-lanes-next-to-kerb
As proposed the project is only partially compliant with Council’s Cycle Design Guidelines. Quoting the relevant section:
“3.2.3. Local cycleways/Urban commercial centres/Cycle lanes: Design principles
In commercial centres where a separated cycle path is not appropriate, a wide cycle lane should be considered. The design principles are:
- · The cycle lane ideally needs to be wide enough for cyclists to pass one another (approximately 1.8 to 2m). A wider lane also gives cyclists more protection from traffic movement and car doors opening into the cycle lane.”
Reallocation of space could easily provide a safer road environment for all road users. Worldwide, planners are discovering that if a project is good for walking, biking and mobility, it is good for everyone. Life does not end, nor does the economy shrivel where street design considers cars as invited guests, rather than the priority.
Spokes accepts that road space is in demand by all road users and staff must seek a balance in allocating space. That balance must still support the goal of encouraging interested but concerned cyclists, the need to ‘future proof’ infrastructure and to support the Zero Road Deaths targets being mooted by central government.
Council legitimately seeks to deliver projects efficiently and affordably. Adding the costs of a safety audit to projects may seem to undermine these goals. Yet, producing infrastructure which offers poor safety leading to limited use and which will need expensive reworking is not efficient or affordable. It also sacrifices amenity and potentially human lives.
Spokes requests that staff redesigns this project with 2m wide cycle lanes or use a shared streets approach. A safety audit to assess dangers and mitigations is also required. Without this information being made publicly available as part of the consultation process neither Councillors nor the public can assess impacts and options.
Spokes supports the 30 km/h speed limit and asks that it be permanent.
Spokes supports the provision of 36 cycle parking spots. Room for expansion should be considered and shown as part of this plan.
Spokes urges Councillor’s to reinstate the Cycle Advisory Panel and to create designated ‘Cycle Champions’ on staff to assure that projects at least comply with the Cycle Design Guidelines, improve road safety and support mode choice. Efficiency, affordability, safety and amenity will all benefit.